A very common problem among CEDF clients is the inability to “get out of production and in to management.” Sure, it’s necessary to bake the cake (literally or figuratively) or perform the service to make the sale and generate the revenue. And it may seem like a heartless criticism when there is only one person in the entire business (or at least only one who knows how) to do the work today.
But even when businesses grow beyond solo operators it seems like some owners find it easier to work on their businesses instead of working in them. By that we mean conducting planning, tending to financial affairs and seeding the field for future growth through marketing.
“I don’t have time” is a common response to urging by a business advisor to shift roles into management. And it’s usually a sincere answer. But nobody has more time than anyone else. Perhaps the widely different outcomes in similar businesses are related to how owners discipline themselves with regard to their own schedules.
A column in Entrepreneur magazine by Robert Adams sums it up persuasively:
“The main difference between the few who get ahead and the many treading water is how well they spend their time.”
It’s easy enough to start a business, but as Adams says, if you want your company to be among the four percent that is still in business after 10 years then making careful use of the owner’s time is crucial.